A.T. hiking season kicks off in Franklin

out hikers ATFranklin will celebrate its love for Appalachian Trail hikers with the annual April Fools Trail Days festival on Saturday, March 30, timed to coincide with the wave of A.T. hikers passing through the region at the beginning of their long journey to Maine.


The day-long celebration in downtown Franklin will bring together hikers, locals and visitors, featuring displays, workshops, live entertainment, food and more.

Saturday’s activities begin at 10 a.m. with national vendors displaying hiking gear alongside educational exhibits and workshops about wildlife medicine, photography, outdoor leadership and boot fitting. All workshops will be held in the lower level of Franklin Town Hall on Main Street.

The event will feature a gear exchange this year hosted by Three Eagles Outfitters.

“If you have hiking gear, a canoe or even skis that you want to sell or trade, you’re welcome to participate in this free gear exchange,” said Linda Schlott, Franklin Main Street Program Executive Director. It is free but those interested in participating must pre-register. 828.524.9061. 

Books Unlimited will have outdoors authors throughout the day of the festival signing their books.

Running in conjunction with April Fools Trail Days is the annual Hiker Bash hosted by Ronnie Haven at Sapphire Inn on East Main Street. The event will begin at 6 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday and allows participants a way to connect, share stories and advice on hiking the A.T. and fill up on food.

April Fools Trail Days is sponsored by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Outdoor 76, Franklin Main Street Program, Town of Franklin Tourism Development Authority, Three Eagles Outfitters and the Nantahala Hiking Club.


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